Newsletter nr.2

Welcome!

acad Ion Tiginyanu NanoMedTwin project managerThe 2nd newsletter of NanoMedTwin project outlines project news and events during its second year (April 2020-March 2021).

NanoMedTwin is a Horizon 2020 project focused on promoting smart specialization at the Technical University of Moldova by developing the field of Novel Nanomaterials for BioMedical Applications through excellence in research and twinning.

During its second year, project activities have focused on advancings its aims of promoting links between the Nano and BioMedicine fields, training a new generation of highly-skilled researchers and extending collaborative networking.

This newsletter is an overview of the projects’ activities and achievements during its second year, also highlighting some of the pertinent publications of the project consortium.

Best regards,

Prof. Ion Tiginyanu
NanoMedTwin project manager

NEWS and EVENTS

Research and Innovation Workshop series delivered by Spin Up Science Team (UK)
1-5 March, 2021

spinup science course

 

 

 

 


During the first week of March, more than 15 PhD students and researchers from Moldova and 5  Master students from the Bristol University participated in Research and Innovation Workshop series, delivered online by the Spin Up Science team from the UK.  The training focused on research commercialization and was organised within the framework of the NanoMedTwin project.

This workshop series aims to develop an understanding of the entrepreneurial pathways available to younger academics (mainly PhDs and post-docs) and build an understanding of what good ideas look like. 

During the five days’ workshop students learned about the main features of the entrepreneurship, the different types of business opportunities (e.g. market pull, technology push, etc.), about assessing market opportunities, the concept of Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and how to get inside the minds of potential customers by means of user journeys. The course also included topics such as intellectual property, negotiating a spin out, understanding stakeholders or raising finance.

This course is part of NanoMedTwin project work package  4, focusing on transfer of knowledge and expertise, best practices and policies in the field of technology transfer from research intensive consortium partners to the National Center for Materials Study and Testing from Moldova.
 

Expert Staff Training on taking research to the market, business development, innovation and startup investments, hosted by KTH Innovation
11 December, 2020

KTH iinovation lecture

 

 

 

 


On the 11th of December, a group of 18 researchers from Moldova involved in the NanoMedTwin project participated in an online meeting with experts in business development and research commercialization from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. The lecture ”Taking research to market-how it is done and supported at KTH incl. the KTH Innovation Readiness Level®- methodology for structured innovation development” was given by Daniel Carlsson -  business development coach materials/medtech KTH Innovation and Investment Manager start-up investments KTH Holding.

In his talk, Mr. Carlsson explained how the KTH Innovation supports about 400 new research ideas every year in order to help KTH residents bring their results to the market. Along with obtaining intellectual property in order to secure the right on the new technology, the KTH Innovation is guiding also by the KTH Innovation Readiness Level®, summarising the aspects of Technology, Customer Readiness Level, Team, Business, IPR, and Funding Readiness Level.

Among the listeners there were researchers and PhD students from the Technical University of Moldova, State University of Medicine and Pharmacy, and „Eliri” Research Institute, who will apply the acquired knowledges in their research activities at the intersection of Nanotechnology and BioMedicine.


Online training week at the Nanobiotechnology Laboratory of JRC
16-20 November, 2020

JRC online training

 

 

 

 


In the period from 16th to 20th of November 2020, an interdisciplinary group of five young researchers from the Technical University of Moldova (TUM) and the State University of Medicine and Pharmacy (SUMPh), participated in an online training in the field of nanobiotechnology. The training was organized by the Joint Research Center in the view of open access to JRC infrastructures for training and capacity building for enlargement and integration countries.
 

Expert Staff Training on Commercialization of Research Results and Technologies
28 October, 2020

UK TT training for experts

 

 

 

 


On the 28th of October, a group of 18 researchers from Moldova involved in the implementation of NanoMedTwin project participated in an online meeting with experts in Intellectual Property and Transfer of Technology from the University of Bristol.

The lecture was given by Dr. James Hamilton from Research and Enterprise Development at University of Bristol, who discussed with the Moldovan team the most important tips on commercialisation of research results and technologies. Among the listeners there were researchers from the Technical University of Moldova, State University of Medicine and Pharmacy, and „Eliri” Research Institute.

During the meeting, Dr. Hamilton explained to the audience the features of University scientific research, intellectual property and filing patent applications in the UK, as well as licensing and spinouts options for developed technologies.


Young people are learning about IP protection and technology transfer
October – December 2020

IP & TT trainingIP & TT training
NanoMedTwin organized a training course on technology transfer, intellectual property protection and Open Science during October – December 2020, with a duration of  60 hours. The event offered a unique opportunity for about 45 young researchers, students, masters and doctoral students to gain or improve their knowledge in these fields.

The best students were considered for carrying out study visits to one of the partner organizations of the NanoMedTwin project: the Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), the University of Bristol (UK), Hannover Medical School (Germany) or the Joint Research Center of the European Commission ( Italy).

During the lectures, which were fully online due to the Pandemics, the students got familiar with specifics of Intellectual Property protection in Moldova, presented by Mr. Andrei Moisei, the main consultant at the State Agency on Intellectual Property. Technology transfer and innovation management were explained in detail by Mr. Roman Chirca, director at the Institute of Market Economy. The final subject focused on Open Science, research data management and open scholarly communication with dr. Igor Cojocaru, director at the Information Society Development Institute.

Upon course completion, the participants were invited to visit the Laboratories of the National Center for Materials Study and Testing and learn more about the research and training possibilities in Moldova. Due to the pandemic restrictions, the participants visited in small groups and received the certificates of participation.


2020 Conference Bristol Center for Functional Nanomaterials (BCFN) Annual Conference and NanoMedTwin Conference
17-18 September, 2020

2020 BCFN Annual Conference was organised in collaboration with Horizon 2020 partners from NanoMedTwin project, from whom the BCFN has hosted academics and students in the past 2020. This conference, in addition to showcasing the work of final year BCFN PhD students, featured academics and students from across Europe who are working in all aspects of nanomedicine.


NanoMedTwin 3rd Project Management Board  meeting
July 2, 2020

3rd PMB meeting

 

 

 

 


NanoMedTwin consortium carried out its 3rd project meeting on July 2, 2020. Due to the COVID pandemic related restrictions, the meeting was organised online via Zoom, with participation of all project partners.

During the meeting, project coordinator presented a progress report on the project activities and then through joint discussions set up the plan of actions for the next period, taking into account the issues related to COVID pandemic.

During the second half of the meeting, each of the project partners presented its research activities, the results of the joint students visits to partner institutions, the existing research infrastructure and facilities, all in order to further explore cooperation opportunities.


The Advanced Training Course on Nanotechnologies and Biomedical Engineering has successfully finished!
October 2019 - May 2020

NaniBio training finished

 

 

 

 


We are happy to announce the Advanced Training Course on Nanotechnologies and Biomedical Engineering 2019-2020, which started in October 2019, has successfully finished on May 16, 2020.

Despite the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the training courses paused on March 7, have been recommenced on May 1. The remaining courses on Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials for tissue engineering and drug delivery and Bioinstrumentation have been delivered via Zoom and attended by about 30 participants each.

The multidisciplinary Advanced Training of 188 hours, at the intersection of several fields, aims to bring up-to-date information and research achievements to young researchers having relevant qualifications in medicine, bioengineering and nanotechnologies. It includes 5 modules:

• Introduction to nanotechnology, nanomaterials, and nanomedicine
• Micro- and Nano- electromechanical systems, microfluidic lab-on-a-chip and their integration in product design
• Anatomy and physiology
• Biomaterials biocompatibility
• Nanotechnologies and nanomaterials at the nano-biointerface

STUDENTS' and EXPERTS' VISITS

Tatiana Malcova (PhD student, State University of Medicine and Pharmacy)
Sept 2020 – Feb 2021
Hannover Medical School, Germany

Malcova visit

 

 

 

 



The main research and experimental activities of the study visit focused on describing the morphological, biomechanical and biochemical modifications of decellularized vascular tissue, after being treated with detergent solution, as well as evaluating the feasibility of ultrasound in vascular tissue decellularization.

The activities conducted at LEBAO under rigorous control of researchers and technicians from AG Hilfiker working group allowed to develop good practical skills, that can be applied and widely used in Republic of Moldova. Attending weekly working meetings, Progress report, Journal Club, and some specific modules of PhD program at the institution allowed to formulate efficient activity plans, to keep up with current findings in the fields of tissue engineering, and to exercise the critical thinking skills by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of a scientific study.  Therefore, intense exchange of knowledge and experience are two main characteristics of this visit that were efficiently applied in practice.

Tatiana Malcova joined NanoMedTwin in autumn 2019, being selected among the participants of the Autumn School in Nano-Bio-Engineering, then she followed the long-term program of the advanced training courses on Nanotechnologies and Biomedical Engineering (October 2019 - May 2020), where she expressed her interest in doing research.


Iulia Veremiov (Resident student, State University of Medicine and Pharmacy)
1 Nov 2020 – 28 Feb 2021
University of Bristol, UK

Veremiov visit

 

 

 

 

During the visit she conducted research on examination of stability and phase transition of monoolein in glycerol and water mixtures using SAXS under the guidance of Dr. Annela Seddon.

Iulia acquired important, transferable skills, the training and research visit was a valuable experience not only in terms of getting training on several analytical techniques, data analysis and nanoscience courses, but as well in terms of getting experience in working on interdisciplinary research and getting to know researchers from different fields.

Iulia joined NanoMedTwin in autumn 2019, being selected among the participants of the Autumn School in Nano-Bio-Engineering, then she followed the long-term program of the advanced training courses on Nanotechnologies and Biomedical Engineering (October 2019 - May 2020), where she expressed her interest in doing research and presented a seminar explaining in details the field of Liposomes to an interdisciplinary group of students.


Vlad Ciobanu (PhD student, National Center for Materials Study and Testing, TUM)
10 Feb 2020 – 05 Jun 2020
University of Bristol, UK

Vladimir had trainings for Clean Room activities, trainings on different instruments for investigation of optical and structural properties of nanomaterials, like Raman Spectroscopy, Photoluminescence, Cathodoluminescence, Scanning electron microscopy; training on Displacement Talbot Lithography for fabrication of SPR sensors. He also attended lectures focused on Technology Transfer, Nano-Optics, Nanomaterials Standardization for Biomedicine.


Irina Plesco (PhD student, National Center for Materials Study and Testing, TUM)
16 Mar 2020 – 31 Jul 2020
Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Irina Plesco KTH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Irina was working on testing of photocatalytic activity of 2D and 3D nanostructured materials as TiO2 nanotubes, aero-ZnS, aero-ZnO-ZnS, aero-GaN, aero-Ga2O3. The experimental work was focused on degradation of organic pollutants in water catalyzed by semiconductive materials activated by UV and visible light. Irina participated in various activities in Functional Materials group leaded by prof. J. Dutta, including group meetings and seminars with participation of international specialists. As well Irina gave a talk on aero-material’s syntesis and applications developed by prof. Tighineanu group at the KTH Applied Physics department meeting.  Irina completed the course with topic SK2774 “Colloids and Colloidal Principles for Applications” and sucessfully passed the examination. Basing on the results of studies held in the labarotories of  KTH Applied Physics department in collaboration with professor’s Dutta group was already prepared article “Photocatalytic degradation of organic dyes using TiO2 nanotube arrays and aero-ZnO-ZnS under UV and visible light illumination” (I. Plesco, V. Ciobanu, T. Braniste, J. Dutta, I. Tiginyanu)  and presented at the International Semiconductor Conference CAS2020 in Romania.


Vlad Ciobanu (PhD student, National Center for Materials Study and Testing, TUM)
4-18 Oct 2020
Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Vladimir had trainings on sample preparation and structural investigation of nanomaterials by means of Transmission Electron Microscopy.  He had investigated the crystalline structure of GaN nanomembranes fabricated at Technical University of Moldova by the so-called Surface Charge Lithography technique. After calcination of GaN nanomembranes at different conditions, it was possible to transform the GaN ultrathin nanomembranes into Ga2O3. He found that when the material is calcinated at intermediate temperatures, a mixture of different phases of Ga2O3 is present in the crystalline structure. A good quality beta phase Ga2O3 nanomembranes are obtained when the calcination takes place at temperatures higher than 800 0C. A more detailed data investigation he is going to do in the next days. 

Also, in this period Vladimir had the opportunity to present a seminar during the Photonics Group monthly meeting entitled “2D and 3D GaN nanostructures and their potential applications”.

 

Andrei Tiron (PhD student, National Center for Materials Study and Testing, TUM)
10 Sep 2020 – 31 Dec 2020
Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Andrei Tiron KTH

 

 

 

 

 


Andrei attended two courses that are related to his field of interest: Laser Spectroscopy and Photonics. These courses improved his understanding of fundamental processes that take place in semiconductor materials and gave him the possibility to learn new measurement technics for optical properties of semiconductor materials. Integrating sphere transmittance, reflectance, haze and quantum yield; MicroPL and time-resolved PL measurements were performed during Andrei’s visit to KTH.
 

Nicolae Magariu (PhD student, Technical University of Moldova)
1 Sep 2020 – 31 Dec 2020
University of Bristol, UK

Nicolae Magariu UK

 

 

 

 

 

The visit was carried out under the supervision of Dr. Andrei Sarua. During the visit, Nicolae participated in various courses and seminars, and under the guidance of Dr. Andrei Sarua he learned various measurement techniques: such as Raman measurements, scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The obtained experience is highly valuable for writing the doctoral thesis in the next year. Also under the training of Dr. Andrew Murray were obtained various heterostructures based on zinc oxide which will later be tested on various gases such as hydrogen, ethanol and other gases.

Thanks to the NanoMedTwin project, the young researchers had the opportunity to be trained at some of the best universities in Europe, improving their  skills and gaining valuable experience for their future research.

 

Olga Ignatov (PhD student, State University of Medicine and Pharmacy)
1 Oct 2019 – 30 Mar 2020
Hannover Medical School, Germany

Olga Ignatov MHH

 

 

 



During the period October 2019 and March 2020 the PhD student form Moldova State University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Olga Ignatov, has visited the Leibniz Research Laboratories for  Biotechnology and Artificial Organs from Hannover Medical School in Germany. Olga Ignatov was conducting a part of her PhD project in the area of tissue engineering at LEBAO under the supervision of Dr. Andres Hilfiker. The focus of the project is “Biomechanical and biocompatibility tests of tissue strips made out of placental membrane loaded w/o nanoparticles (GaN or ZnO).” In addition to experimental design and implementation, the student has been able to train in various methods and techniques including uniaxial strain/stress testing, cell culture with fibroblasts on plastic and membranes, production of conditioned media, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and production of SEM samples, metabolic measurements using MTT assays tests, and microscopy. During her visit, Olga has received detailed instruction and support in lab work from Dr. Birgit Andrée.

Additionally, she has been able to network extensively with peers and liaise with internationally recognised experts in tissue engineering, stem cell research, and molecular biotechnology at LEBAO and more widely at NIFE, the MHH and local biotechnology companies such as Corlife.

Olga has also had the opportunity to attend lectures within the REBIRTH PhD programme (Year 1 courses in regenerative medicine) and the Hannover Biomedical Research School. She has integrated well in the research group at LEBAO, profiting from a highly interdisciplinary and international research environment with state-of-the-art lab infrastructure.

Thanking NanoMedTwin project for the given opportunity to be trained in a world class environment, Olga is ready now to implement the best European practices in her institution by training students and doing responsible and conscious research activities in the lab.

PUBLICATIONS

Sirkeli V.P., Tiginyanu I.M., Hartnagel H.L. Recent Progress in GaN-Based Devices for Terahertz Technology. In: Tiginyanu I., Sontea V., Railean S. (eds) 4th International Conference on Nanotechnologies and Biomedical Engineering. ICNBME 2019. IFMBE Proceedings, vol 77. Springer, Cham. 2020https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-31866-6_46

Morari, V.,  Postolache, V., Mihai, G., Rusu, E., Monaico, Ed., Ursachi, V., Nielsch, K., Tiginyanu, I. Electrical and Photoelectrical Properties of Zn1−xMgxO Thin Films Obtained by Spin Coating and Aerosol Deposition Method. In: Tiginyanu I., Sontea V., Railean S. (eds) 4th International Conference on Nanotechnologies and Biomedical Engineering. ICNBME 2019. IFMBE Proceedings, vol 77. Springer, Cham. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-31866-6_23

Monaico, E.V.; Monaico, E.I.; Ursaki, V. V.; Tiginyanu, I. M.  Free-Standing Large-Area Nanoperforated Gold Membranes Fabricated by Hopping ElectrodepositionECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology. 2020, 9. https://doi.org/10.1149/2162-8777/aba6a2

Zalamai, V.; Syrbu, N.; Stamov, I.; Beril, S. Wannier–Mott excitons in GaSe single crystalsJournal of Optics. 2020, 22. https://doi.org/10.1088/2040-8986/ab9f17

Morari, V.; Pantazi, A.; Curmei, N.; Postolache, V.; Rusu, E. V.; Enachescu, M.; Tiginyanu, I. M.; Ursaki, V. V. Band tail state related photoluminescence and photoresponse of ZnMgO solid solution nanostructured films.  Beilstein J. Nanotechnol. 2020, 11, 899–910. doi:10.3762/bjnano.11.75

Monaico, E. I.; Monaico, E. V.; Ursaki, V. V.; Honnali, S.; Postolache, V.; Leistner, K.; Nielsch, K.; Tiginyanu, I. M. Electrochemical nanostructuring of (111) oriented GaAs crystals: from porous structures to nanowiresBeilstein J. Nanotechnol. 2020, 11, 966–975. doi:10.3762/bjnano.11.81

Plesco, I., Braniste, T., Wolff, N., Gorceac, L., Duppel, V., Cinic, B.,  Mishra, Y. K., Sarua, A., Adelung, R., Kienle, L., Tiginyanu, I. (2020) Aero-ZnS architectures with dual hydrophilic–hydrophobic properties for microfluidic applications. APL Materials 8, 061105 (2020); https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0010222

Braniste, T.; Dragoman, M.; Zhukov, S.; Aldrigo, M.; Ciobanu, V.; Iordanescu, S.; Alyabyeva, L.; Fumagalli, F.; Ceccone, G.; Raevschi, S.; Schütt, F.; Adelung, R.; Colpo, P.; Gorshunov, B.; Tiginyanu, I. Aero-Ga2O3 Nanomaterial Electromagnetically Transparent from Microwaves to Terahertz for Internet of Things ApplicationsNanomaterials 202010, 1047. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10061047

Monaico, E., Tiginyanu, I., Ursaki, V. (2020), Porous semiconductor compounds. Semiconductor Science and Technology. https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6641/ab9477